25 March 2004
Written Testimony of General Lance W. Lord
Commander, Air Force Space Command
Before the Senate Committee on Armed Services
It is my distinct honor to appear before the Committee today on behalf the 39,000 men
and women of the world’s finest space and missile team -- Air Force Space Command.
I am honored to appear with Under Secretary of the Air Force Peter Teets, the DoD
Executive Agent for Space, Admiral Jim Ellis, the Commander of United States
Strategic Command, and retired Vice Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, Director of DoD Force
Transformation. These leaders are a major reason why our space and missile
capabilities continue to play an ever-increasing transformational role in Joint and
Coalition operations. They continue to push advancement of our sentinels on the high
ground and our ready, safe and reliable missiles below ground to increase the range,
speed and precision of all our forces in conflict and, moreover, to deter a conflict before
it begins.
There is no better example of this transformation than we recently displayed in
Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. Simultaneously, our forces
limited collateral damage, delivered humanitarian aid and saved the lives of combatants
and civilians alike while conducting highly successful combat operations. General
Franks, former Commander of US Central Command told Congress, "The pieces of this
operation which have been successful would not have been so without space-based
assets…it's just very simply a fact." Spacepower continues to improve our battlefield
speed, precision, lethality, reach and flexibility. As President Bush said on May 1, 2003
aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, “Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried out with a
combination of precision and speed and boldness the enemy did not expect, and the
world had not seen before. From distant bases or ships at sea, we sent planes and
missiles that could destroy an enemy division, or strike a single bunker.” In a matter of
minutes, not weeks, hours or days as in past wars, commanders identified and engaged
targets and received timely battle damage assessment. Our Coalition, and our
adversary, got the message: spacepower is now in the fight like never before.
The organizational and structural changes implemented after the Space Commission
puts Air Force Space Command on an even better footing for the future. The synergy
between the acquisition arm of the Command –the Space and Missile Systems Center,
the innovators at the Space Warfare Center, the Space Numbered Air Force – the 14th
Air Force, our missileers in the 20th Air Force, and our headquarters team is beginning
to be realized. Our people are always ‘in the fight – either through our “deployed in
place mission” from our sites around the world (some of our men and women spent 180
plus days in the missile field last year, for example) or the 1,200 people deployed to the
theater last year (over 436 members still deployed). Our Airmen, from the most junior
enlisted to the senior officers, understand they are all part of the team that doesn’t just
support the warfighter – they provide combat effects 24/7/365.
AFSPC Vision
As ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM continue to wind down, I’d like to
share a snapshot of our Command Way Ahead. Our Command vision is to be a full
spectrum space combat command preeminent in the application of space power for
national security and joint warfare.
We’ve been creating combat effects since well before we stood up as a Command
– I pulled my first Combat Crew Missile Alert in 1969. Our new vision is to provide full
spectrum effects, from strategic (which has always been our strength) to tactical effects
using non-kinetic through kinetic weapons in full combat synergy with all Coalition
Our framework to achieve that vision is what we call Commanding the Future. This
framework enables a complete understanding of our progress in all aspects by
ensuring: we have the right enterprise and are focused both operationally and
strategically; we have the right partners; we are unleashing human talent to develop
space professionals with education and certification programs; we are developing new
wizards who understand all the aspects of the space medium and system and creative
ways of employment; we are warfighter centric and have the proper Concepts of
Operation; and that we can properly transition advanced technology to warfighting and
increase combat effects. Through these “thrusts,” we ensure we cover all management
areas as we execute our Command priorities for 2004.
AFSPC Priorities
Our first priority is developing our people to lead us into the future, and educating them
through Space Professional Development – this is significant, as we’ve formulated a
plan that ensures the success of our operators, developers and maintainers as one
warfighting space cadre. When the Secretary of the Air Force approved the Space
Professional Development strategy, he took the additional step of naming me, in my
position as the AFSPC Commander, the Space Professional Functional Authority -- the
only Functional Authority residing outside of the Pentagon. We developed, tested and
conducted space professional education prototypes in 2003, and this year we’ll bring
both the initial Space 100 and the advanced Space 200 courses on-line for Space
Cadre members at the 8-10 year point in their careers. Finally, I approved identifying
Space Cadre members and associated Space Cadre positions using Space Experience
Codes (SPEC). These SPECs will become the common terminology linking the
experiences that identify the individual and the position, helping us to inventory
capabilities and requirements for all Space Professional Cadre members.
With the proper focus on people, we must improve our capabilities and deliver on near
term commitments. Improving missile warning systems remains one of our top
priorities. We need to upgrade our missile warning, that served us well throughout the
Cold War, to be more responsive and more capable to our forces in the field. We
stretched the Defense Support Program (DSP) system hard for tactical missile warning,
but our forces deserve increased capability to precisely determine launch and impact
point for both warning and engagement of incoming enemy missiles. With just one DSP
left to launch, we can’t wait for a degraded constellation. Degraded strategic and
tactical missile warning would present significant National Security challenges – it would
severely handicap National Missile Defense and strategic response through tactical
warning to warriors in the field. We will continue to push Space Based Infrared
capabilities in the near term.
We will also maintain our assured access to space with multiple new launch vehicles
and developing operationally responsive spacelift and spacecraft. Our Operationally
Responsive Spacelift (ORS) initiative is progressing well. The Mission Needs
Statement (MNS) was validated by the JROC in Apr ‘02 and we’re in the midst of an
ORS Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) that should be completed mid 2004. The FY05
Presidential Budget also includes funding for an AF/DARPA demonstration called Force
Application and Launch from CONUS (FALCON). However, we are stressing our
newest, state of the art rockets known as Atlas V and Delta IV. These two contractor
teams plus our new group of launch professionals – acquirers and space operators now
on one team – are all focused on mission success in each and every operation leading
to launch. Our focus is delivering on the promises of the Evolved Expendable Launch
Vehicle fleet and getting toward more responsive launch without sacrificing mission
A continuing priority is space superiority and understanding all avenues that adversaries
could take to counter our capabilities. Space Superiority is just as important as gaining
and maintaining Air Superiority in times of conflict. It is our fundamental duty to ensure
our advantages in space don’t become vulnerabilities. Each time the higher ground was
sought throughout history, adversaries developed capabilities to remove the advantage.
We are very concerned about space force protection to ensure all our space forces are
survivable, and we are exploring rapid reconstitution capabilities. However,
fundamental to space superiority is the capability to detect, categorize and counter
attacks on spacecraft, ground stations and the links between them. Every new contract
we let must take into account all appropriate space situation awareness and protection
In 2004, we’ll continue modernizing our ICBMs while exploring other alternatives for
future force application. Our space capabilities were the helping hand of our coalition
force operations because they were backed up by the clenched fist of our missile force -always alert and providing “top cover” by deterring any adversary from using weapons
of mass destruction against our nation or our forces around the world. In 2003, we
strengthened that fist even more with over 200 new guidance sets and 80 missiles with
new propellant. We’ll continue to increase those numbers this year and conduct an
Analysis of Alternatives on the next generation Land Based Strategic Deterrent.
Over the next year we will also plan for future advancements in force enhancement
through GPS modernization, Space Based Radar development, and advanced satellite
communications. GPS has proven its worth. It is the world’s largest free public utility
with numerous applications that improve our daily lives. The military value of this
system is unquestionably the driving force behind our transformation. We look forward
to launching the next generation of GPS to keep our forces on the leading edge. SBR
will provide surveillance and target tracking around the clock and in all weather. The
situational awareness provided by the SBR constellation promises to be just as
revolutionary as GPS has been. We must continue to ensure SBR is responsive to our
forces in the field and the power of this system is not only used for intelligence
preparation of the battlespace, but provides the much needed capability to ID and track
targets in theater, real time. Transformational Satellite (TSAT) Communications serve
a fundamental need of all our expeditionary forces -- the expanding need for protected,
reliable, long haul communication. We are looking hard at the interoperability between
Intelligence Community and DoD requirements. We are also weighing associated
affordability / schedule risks and the appropriate tradeoffs leading toward an FY12 (Nov
2011) TSAT 1st launch.
These priorities, executed through the Commanding the Future framework, will solve
our most pressing needs leading into both near and mid term to achieve the needed
effects on the battlefield by all members of our Joint and Coalition team. Air Force
Space Command will be ready for whatever the future brings by continuing to innovate,
develop, design, launch and operate leading-edge space and missile systems.
Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today. I look forward to your